Q&A – Yazbeatz
This piece of text right here turns out to be one of our largest
and most intense written interviews.
We didn’t even think that Yaz alias Ayaz Hussain,
executive manager to Future Beats Records would be available to be our guest.
We thought wrong.
Much love to Yaz, JonEcks who helped me pursue this and
calmed me down multiple times just to freak out by himself when
we noticed that this is going to happen for real.
Also thanks to everyone who helped us gather questions,
participants can find themselves credited below.
Could you (briefly) describe one of your typical workdays?
I live my life by a strict code with a set of defined routines and habits. The
mornings are for checking up on all our social media channels whilst I eat my
cereal. I’ll probably schedule 2 or 3 FBR updates throughout the day.
Whilst driving to the office, I listen to a playlist of new beats from the FBR
producers and the forthcoming singles and demos we get submitted each
week. Either that or I’ll flip to Jay-Z’s The Blueprint album followed by
After calling up Complexion and setting a to do list for the week; I’ll check in
on the producers HARIKIRI, R.O.M and J-Rican to find out what they are
working on and what projects or gigs they have coming up.
In the evening I’ll either record an interview for The Future Beats Show or
work on a building an FBR single or artist campaign until I knock out for bed.
How did Complexion and Future Beats Records come together?
Complexion was already 13 episodes into The Future Beats Show by the
time I met him. He opened my eyes to an incredible genre of music and
together we wanted to use the label as a platform to push our favourite
artists that built their following via The Future Beats Show.
After contributing to the initial growth of artists such as Stwo, Chloe Martini,
Phazz and watching them grow; we decided we wanted to progress some of
our own artists that we truly believed in. We reached out to some young
rising musicians like Singularis, R.O.M & El Blanco Nino and released their
debut EP’s. It’s been a blessing to watch everyone explode over the last year
and a half!
What direction do you want all of this to head?
Like maybe fesitivals shows?
My primary focus is growing the brand concept as a space age record label
that is powered by a radio show. With a strong foundation I want each artist
on the FBR roster to shine when their time is right to kick-start their own
No disrespect – I couldn’t give two fucks about aiming for fame or headlining
a festival stage named after us. If we’re changing people’s lives through
music and we are all pushing each other to be better musicians every single
day then festival stages and game changing opportunities will come to us
organically when it’s the right time.
What type of artist are you and the fam in search for?
The sound has to be dazzling. Being good is not good enough.
To catch the attention of Complexion you gotta bring your A-Game.
The sound we love is best described as Space Age Love Songs which is a phrase
centred around catching the feeling of an emotional connection with the music.
Space Age Love Songs is not all about slow jamz, R&B ballads and
Planet Ex vibes; but pushing the boundaries of songs with a sound
that is so forward thinking and unique it’s from the future.
The number one question we ask every artist is:
“Are you creating your own lane;
or are you copying any other collective or artist?”
Can you explain the companies mantra?
“Space is at the Heart of everything we do.”
This message is crucial to us because the future beats sound makes us think
of space. We reflect upon the space theme through our artwork, culture and
interests. Even our logo and overall aesthetic has always been centred
around a space theme.
If you remember Coachella 2014 had a 50 foot astronaut above the festival……
Do you know how many people tweeted pictures of that to Complexion?
During the Solar Eclipse 2015 people were saying we’d put the
FBR logo in the sky!
We live by our brand mantra because we don’t chase popular trends. If you
lose sight of why you started and follow the crowd; you’ll lose your originality
and end up selling out. Stick to your morals because in the long term they’ll
take you further than a few thousand viral plays.
Are there any negatives to your job?
There’s a lot of sacrifices to be made setting up your own project. You have
to be willing to put aside everything for your goals. There’s a lot of late nights
and short term hustle that you’ve gotta do without seeing the immediate
benefits of your time, efforts and money.
Keep powering through, even if you lose a couple homies along the way. I
learnt the hard way that you can’t please everyone. Your real circle stick with
you through the hard times; not just the good times when it suits them.
The music you post is very popular in the United States. Do you and the
team ever plan on expanding to the states? (submitted by Minga, NYC)
The US is definitely on the cards for 2016. This year I travelled to Washington
DC, Baltimore, New York & Canada. Next summer we’re aiming to play
shows in San Fran, LA, Chicago and New York. Plus, I made a vow to myself
I’d network the shit out of SXSW in Texas next year no matter what.
What would be your alternate Job choice if FBR didnt have worked out?
Future Beats Records isn’t even my full time occupation yet! That’s the goal
but everybody has to make a living before making the dream come true.
I love what I do as a Social Media Strategist. I’ve developed digital artist
campaigns for some incredible major record label artists from Joey Badass
to Bondax, Diversity dance group to Marvin JLS and dozens more!
If I could follow any dream career in the world, I’d love to be a journalist for a
major music publication like XXL or Billboard. Interviewing artists is one of
my passions because I get to know the person behind the music.
I’ve interviewed hundreds of artists from urban names such as Kid Ink, Tinashe &
Soulja Boy, to classic soul stars like Brandy, Shaggy, Teedra Moses & Brian McKnight.
Favourite 90s Song?
One of my favourite childhood songs is Shola Ama
‘You Might Need Somebody’ (1996).
That record is so nostalgic because it reminds of of the days my Dad used
to drive me to pre-school. All of my drive for music comes from him
educating me on the classics. I wouldn’t be the man I am without his musical
Favourite 90s Food/Snacks?
Penny sweets! The local newsagent used to sell Flying Saucers, Super
Sherbert Sticks and Rhubarb & Custard candy for 2 pence each!
Which is your all time favourite Kicks (Sneakers)?
(Submitted by Adam Roberts)
Kick shopping is a problem because of my height.
I wear a Size 14 UK (49.5 European)!
A few years ago I copped a pair of Jordan Retro 1 89 Bred’s – they’re dope!
Whats your favourite Tea?
(Submitted by Deeperkay)
I used to be a coffee man but Complexion changed that straight away when
he got me hooked on green tea! My favourite leaf tea is from an independent
chain of teahouses called Yumchaa. I’m always at their Soho, London
branch for meetings. Shoutout to Mark from Trapdoor for introducing me.
Yumchaa sell this amazing Rooibos Red tea with Raspberry, Vanilla and
Rose Petals. It’s delicious! <3
What is your personal ultimate Goal as a music professional?
(Submitted by John Q from All My Homies)
My biggest excitement each day comes from helping my brothers J-Rican
and R.O.M with their musical careers and being a part of their journey. I’ve
been working with them for a few months and I’m so excited for their futures.
Legally I can’t say too much about the features that they’ve done recently;
but in 2016 their work rate will be unstoppable!
Aside from managing artists; I want The Future Beats Show to be the go-to
spot for the futuristic sound and discover the next generation of producers. I
want our label to contend with the likes of Trapdoor & Soulection but
champion our unique twist on the interpretation of the future beats genre.
To be honest, I haven’t thought too much about the end goal because the
sky is the limit. I don’t want to put a ceiling on how high we should reach. We
hustle and grind every day because music is the only thing that makes sense
and drives us every single day.
Can you imagine FBR to grow into a Mainstream powerhouse label?
(Submitted by John Q from All My Homies)
Perhaps “mainstream” isn’t the word to describe my vision but
“established” is a better word choice.
Having worked for Black Butter Records, SBTV, Ministry of Sound and Sony
Music; I’ve realised the conventional business model of pre-orders and chart
positions doesn’t apply to the Soundcloud community. We live in a new
generation where streaming and reposting counts a million times more than
a commercial radio premiere as the tastemakers of our scene are different.
I want to challenge the status-quo and break the mould of how an artist
campaign should be run and make an impact on the scene by running a
new-age campaign where producers are considered artists in their own right;
not just singers and rappers.
Of course – I have big dreams! One day I want our own offices with a few
studios, recording booths, writing rooms and the freedom to globally release
projects from our artists who’ve been down with us since day one.
Once again, thanks to everyone involved in this interview!
Looking forward to the next one.